They might be the ancestors of our beloved family pets, but wolves themselves don’t make very good guard animals. Sure, they might be big and strong on the outside, but these animals are incredibly timid and will often run away from strangers. This is why many people breed them with dogs to create wolf-dogs instead. However, it was during one simple walk that this woman had an unforgettable adventure after coming face to face with two wolves in the woods.
Not always a fairytale
Over time, there have been many wolves in stories. From The Little Red Riding Hood to Twilight and many in between, wolves have played a huge role in many pieces of literature.
However, one woman was about to find out that an encounter with a wild beast isn’t always the fairytale we think it will be. In fact, she was about to come across two of the mysterious creatures while on a stroll through the forest. The question that remained: how would the animals react and would she make it out of the woods?
Following her passion
Danielle has always had a passion for animals and would have once done anything for a chance to work with them. So when she was offered the opportunity to be part of the team at the Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center, Danielle jumped at the chance.
In fact, the worker now loved preparing food for the animals and took on any task she is given with a smile. Her colleagues often say Danielle is smiling no matter how dull her job for the day is.
Walking off work
It was one snowy day after work that Danielle decided to go for a walk in the woods at the center with one of her friends. It had been a long shift, and Danielle wanted to get out and enjoy the day before it was dark.
However, it was into their walk that Danielle felt as though something was watching them. She turned around to see two pairs of eyes in the distance; there were two wolves watching their every move. Now, the wolves were wondering what was going on.
Half of the pack
One of the wolves was Kekoa, whose name means “brave one” in native American. Kekoa is a timber wolf but hasn’t always lived in Colorado.
No, the animal was born in the Seacrest Wolf Preserve found in Florida where he was hand raised before making a move across the nation. Kekoa was one of the most striking wolves many people had ever seen thanks to his stunning gray fur. To top it off, he was often running around the woods and keeping active.
The other side of the coin
Kekoa wasn’t the only one in the pen; he was also joined by his sister, Sakara. The pair had always lived together, and now they were joined by another gray wolf named Keyni.
Sakara had taken the new addition under her wing as the wolf felt a strong maternal pull to the latest member of their pack. Sakara had raised many pups over the years so had plenty of practice showing others what to do. However, unlike her brother, Sakara much prefers staying away from humans.
The start of it all
The idea for the center was thought up many years ago – back in 1993 to be precise. Darlene Kobobel was living in Lake George, Colorado and going about her normal life when she heard about Chinook.
The wolf-dog was at the local shelter, but time was running out. They had plans to end his life until Darlene swooped in to the rescue. It wasn’t until Darlene began caring for Chinook that she realized the struggle for wolf-dogs all over the country.
Not alone in the world
It wasn’t long before Darlene founded the center to take in as many wolf-dogs as she could care for. However, she soon became overwhelmed as she was receiving between 15 and 20 phone calls a day for people looking to hand over their pets.
All these callers admitted they could no longer care for their wolf-dogs. Amazingly, Darlene learned that 80% of wolf-dogs bred end up in shelters where they have their lives ended within 1 – 3 days.
A keen volunteer
Darlene was soon forced to look for volunteers at her center. She wanted to continue helping wolf-dogs, but she couldn’t keep up with the demand.
How was she supposed to turn away animals in need of saving? It just wasn’t right. It was shortly after she put out the job ad that Danielle contacted Darlene. Danielle explained how she always wanted to work alongside animals and wanted to help care for the 35 acres of land to help the animals.
A flop of a plan
Volunteers weren’t the only addition Darlene needed if she was going to make the center work – she needed a pull to get visitors through the gate and paying to see the animals.
That’s when the founder decided to adopt two wolves. They would be the perfect way to teach people all about the beauty and wonder of these animals. It wasn’t long before Kekoa and Sakara became the ambassadors of the park. However, the siblings were more interested in staying away from humans and were soon given the woods to roam around instead.
Catching their attention
Danielle soon realized it was Kekoa and Sakara that had caught sight of her and her friend in the woods. She could tell Kekoa was alert as his ears were pricked forwards in her direction.
However, Sakara was being much more cautious and stayed behind to look through the trees. Danielle had no idea how to react to their the two. There was snow everywhere, and the pair knew no one else was around. They were completely trapped with the siblings.
Closing the gap
Before long, Kekoa began to step closer to the pair. Danielle had always dreamed of having a close relationship with the wolves at the park, but never imagined she would be getting this up close and personal with the animals.
Although she had no idea what to do, Danielle put out her hand as an offer to Kekoa. The only way they were going to see what happened was by letting Kekoa get as close as he could. He soon began to sniff Danielle’s hand.
Capturing the moment
Although Danielle was completely relaxed with the wolf, her friend was scared about what he would do. Rather than run, her friend took out her phone – she couldn’t believe what she was seeing!
As Kekoa continued to sniff Danielle all over, the volunteer crouched down. She was putting herself in a very dangerous situation that could have tragic consequences. Kekoa cautiously started to sniff Danielle all over her body. The question is: was what he smelt good enough to eat?
Becoming a lap wolf
As one wolf was getting as close as possible, Sakara started to edge closer to the pair and close the gap. However, neither Danielle or her friend could take their eyes off Kekoa.
The wolf was trying to get as close to Danielle as he could. What was he doing? It wasn’t long before Danielle realized Kekoa was attempting to sit on her lap. Neither of the pair had ever seen anything so strange, yet Danielle still managed to remain calm. It was as if it was completely normal.
After realizing neither Danielle or her friend posed as a threat, Kekoa took full advantage of having some new friends in his woods. In fact, the wolf soon flopped onto his back.
What did he want now? Danielle couldn’t believe it – Kekoa was trying to get her to scratch his tummy. As if that wasn’t enough, every time she stopped, Kekoa would put his giant paw onto her shoulder as a way to get Danielle to carry on stroking him like a dog.
Lucky number three
Thankfully, Kekoa’s trusting nature soon gave Sakara the confidence she needed to join the group. In fact, it wasn’t long before all three were rolling around playing together.
It was almost unbelievable. After so long of working with the animals, Danielle finally felt as though she had been accepted into the wolves’ pack. Many thought she must have a special gift as Danielle had somehow even got their timid wolf to come over and join in with the fun.
Kisses all around
As if everything wasn’t enough already, Kekoa soon took Danielle by surprise as he started to give the volunteer kisses. That’s right; the wolf was now licking all around her face as a sign of affection.
Danielle truly had been accepted by the pack. Even as Danielle started to make her way out of the woods, she couldn’t stop thinking about her encounter. She might have left the woods, but it seemed as though the center suddenly had big plans for Danielle.
Coming up with a plan
Darlene and the rest of the people at the center decided they wanted Danielle to meet the wolves every day. They had plans to send Danielle back into the woods the very next day to see if it would be second time lucky.
The center hoped Danielle’s presence would help the siblings get more used to human interaction. After all, Kekoa and Sakara were meant to help pull in the guests, not run away from them. If their plan worked, it could change the entire center.
Danielle made her way back to the woods the very next day, and everyone was excited to see what happened. Amazingly, the volunteer was accepted instantly.
It seemed as though both the wolves were changing already. Kekoa was usually the wolf seen running around and keeping active. However, he was calm and gentle whenever Danielle was near. It was time to introduce them to the public to see if their second debut to the outside world would be any more successful.
Size doesn’t matter
The wolves were now both eight years old and could easily stand at over seven feet tall if they were to put their paws on someone’s shoulders.
However, none of that ever seemed to bother Danielle. She just wanted to get closer to the wolves and knew that her work could help get Kekoa and Sakara some attention from the public. The center soon let the people into the woods and stepped back to see what would happen. Kekoa appeared and began to walk closer.
Fighting off criticisms
Everyone held their breath as Kekoa started to run. What would he do? As soon as he reached the public, everyone could exhale; he began to lick their faces just as he had with Danielle.
Now, visitors come from all over the nation to see the sibling wolves that are so friendly they will literally come right up to visitors. No one can believe they are witnessing wolves behave in this way. Although some people criticize they have been domesticated, the center argues they are wild animals that choose to approach the visitors.
Sharing is caring
Danielle was so elated with her encounter with these two precious wold siblings in the woods that she just wanted to share it with as many people as she could.
Now, her experience is changing people’s lives from all across America. To top it off, Danielle is still best friends with Kekoa and has even gained Sakara’s trust thanks to lost of hard work and patience. Without Danielle, these wolves never would have been brave enough to embrace their new lives.